A visit to Girona is a must if you are spending any amount of time in the province of Catalonia. Once you’ve had your fill of Barcelona, enjoyed all of Gaudi’s masterpieces, and gorged yourself on tapas, it’s time to get outside the city to explore one of the region’s finest gems. Even if you only have 24 hours, stop by and visit Girona!
You won’t be left disappointed. Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, there is plenty to appreciate in the storybook looking town
. With so much to see, you’ll need a Girona day trip itinerary to fit in all the sites and get the most out of your visit. Luckily, you’re in the right place to find out how you can spend the most memorable 24 hours in Girona.
Savvy Travelers Tip: If you’re looking for the most hassle-free way to visit all the highlights, a tour from Barcelona is the way to go!
Girona, Dali Museum and Figueres- Day Trip from Barcelona
Make the most of your 24H Girona Day Trip Itinerary
So, you only have 24 hours to visit Girona. Are you wondering how to fit in all the best sites and attractions? We’ve got the best itinerary and more, to guide you along the way to an awesome day!
1. Visit Girona Cathedral
Start your day bright and early at Girona’s most iconic sites. Wipe the sleep from your eyes, splash some water on your face and wake up to seize the day.
Advantages to arriving early in the Old Quarter of Girona? You will be one of the few lucky ones to capture the view (and a snapshot or two!) with the morning light without the crowds. Enjoy the first rays of sun hitting the 90 steps leading up to the Cathedral; an undeniable beauty! Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the architectural wonder is a beautiful mix of styles: Baroque, Roman and Gothic.
Any Games of Thrones fans out there?
For those of you who are glued to the series, you’ll recognize the stairs leading up to the Cathedral (they appeared in the sixth season). What’s so impressive is that little CGI was used on the show, meaning they virtually look the same as they did in the show. Girona is one of the top ten must-see Game of Thrones travel destinations
. Seeing is one thing, but having an expert guide and fellow Game of Thrones groupie guiding you around takes your visit to a whole new level. Get ready to experience the Game of Throne scenes in real life!
Girona - Game of Thrones City Tour From Barcelona
2. La Muralla
Walk through The Medieval walls, Girona ́s oldest landmarks, founded in 79BC. It was here where the Romans decided to build a giant fortress called Forca Vella. Walk through the medieval walls and observe its ruins. While glancing down at the best views in the city, it’s easy to step back in time and imagine the battles from the past. Heading back into the city centre, wander through the narrow streets through the Old Village or to the relaxing gardens of Jardins dels Alemanys.
3. The Jewish Quarters
As you continue your day trip, cruise the alleys and streets of one of the best preserved Jewish Quarters in the world. Explore the area which was home to the Jews in the 9th - 15 century. This particular part of the city is labyrinth looking, as it leads you to many steep stairways and narrow allies.
And if you have already visited the Girona cathedral, guide yourself through the streets of Carrer de la Forca, Cundaro or Sant Llorent. There you can find various stairways leading you up of the highest points of the city, being able to see incredible views of the Old Quarter. On your way back down, take a stroll through Rambla de la Llibertat, a 13th-century street, parallel to the river, where you can meander past quaint cafes, and local flower markets.
4. Museums and snacking, hand in hand
Next attraction on your Girona day trip itinerary. Take your pick between six of the most famous museums: The Museum of Jewish History, The Art Museum, The Archaeology Museum, The History Museum, The Museum of Cinema and Casa Masó.
As you work your way up to an appetite, be sure to stop by Girona’s market, Mercat Municipal del LLeó. There are more than 50 shops, offering you a great assortment. Check the opening hours ahead of time, and remember, you’re in the land of siestas (mid-day napping) so keep this in mind before visiting.
The city is full of yummy goodies; the city is full of yummy goodies; stroll along any of the cobblestone streets and you’ll see! Specialties you must taste are botifarra, patatas bravas, crema Catalana and Catalan style cod.
5. Onyar River View
Make your next stop an all-time favorite and a great postcard moment. This 34 kilometer stretch of river separates the city from the old town to downtown. The colorful facades of the houses that overlook the river make this one of the most characteristic places of Girona. Walk across the area’s 11 bridges, and experience the treasure from both sides. Walking across each and every bridge will definitely build up more than leg muscle. One of the must-see bridges, when you visit Girona, is the Eiffel Bridge, designed by the same architect of the Eiffel tower. What a hidden gem!
6. Placa de la Independencia - Your Ideal Lunch Spot
After walking all day, hunger must be calling and the Placa de la Independencia is the perfect place to curb any cravings. A natural hub-spot for visitors and locals, the frequented plaza is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and more. Right outside the Old Town, this square is sure to brighten your day with its colorful balconies and neoclassical look.
7. Burriwhat? Burricleta.
Whether you ate a few tapas or a three-course meal, the best way to continue seeing the city is taking a ride on a burricleta. The burricleta may look like your standard bicycle, but so much better! What better way to explore Girona than on an electric and assisted pedaling bike. With just a little push of your own, you are able to glide along the countryside, enjoying the views and ride all in one.
The best way to explore on your burricleta, is to hire a private guide (or join a tour) to take you through hidden parts of the city, Or for some explorers, you can go off on your own or with friends, with the GPS, so you get the best of both worlds. There are great offers when your rent for a couple of hours or even a couple of days if you visit Girona for longer. Hotels in Girona are fairly well-priced and you can find many of them all over the city.
8. It’s time to relax - Visit the Arab baths
After all that hard work pedaling away, what better way to relax than by bathing in a traditional Arab bath? Step back in time to 1194, as you soak your tired muscles in the ancient baths. For the ultimate relaxation, Aqva Bany Romans, a Girona spa, is just around the corner. The magical Roman baths dates back to the 5th century, and is created in a Greco-Roman style. There is a variety of sensory and bathing experiences you need to have before leaving Girona. This part of your day trip will let you unwind and get you ready to dine.
9. Dinner and dessert
Bora, La Poma, and Can Marqués are some of the many typical restaurants where you can dine. For tapas, check out Txalaka, Divinum, and Massana among many others. Try the four time winning best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca. To go, book eleven months in advance and on the first day of the month because The Roca Brothers don't mess around. If you’re not familiar with these famous chefs, you’re in for a surprise by choosing to dine at one of their restaurants.
What’s the best way to end your Girona day trip itinerary? Dessert of course!
Even if Spain isn't as famous for its ice cream as Italy is, still make some room for ice cream. And even if you couldn't get a reservation to The Roca Brother’s top restaurant, they also have a very famous ice cream parlor, Rocambolesc. This shop is a dream come true with an array of colors and flavors that will make you want to try them all. If you’ve got a sweet tooth and want something original from Girona, you must try Xuixo, deep-fried sugar-coated pastry that is filled with crema Catalana.
Girona Tourist Information
Barcelona to Girona - Best way to arrive
There are lots of practical ways to get to and from Girona in just one day. Train, being the fastest, taking 38 minutes.
The bus takes an hour, pending on traffic and time of day. By car, the journey can take anywhere between an hour and a half to three hours; this depends on whether you take the milk run or the highway. And after enjoying Girona, there are plenty more day trips from Barcelona you can take.
Not interested in wasting time navigating solo? No worries, join an expert guide, taking you directly from Barcelona to Girona.
Barcelona to Girona and Costa Brava Tour with Hotel Pick-Up
Pack the Essentials
Comfortable shoes and clothes are a must! Keep in mind, you will be walking and climbing stairs a lot as you make your way through the city of Girona. If all that climbing sounds tiring, bring your swimwear so once you’ve finished your inner city trek, you can relax in the Arabs baths.
This is one of the reasons why it made our 15 Hidden Romantic spots list
. If you are planning to visit Girona in winter, the weather may not be hot, but the sun will come out. For this reason, it’s best to bring along water, a cap, and sunscreen.
Girona is a year-round destination! Summer is all about the sea breeze and that nice warm sunshine. Winter, on the other hand, may not be the optimal time to visit when it comes to weather, but the city is definitely a lot calmer, which is a definite advantage for you!
When to visit Girona
The busiest time of the year is actually May! Thanks to the Girona Temps de Flors, Festival de las Flores, in other words, Flower Festival. Lasting 10 days, and bringing the city to even more life than normal, the thousands of flower arrangements all over the city are a beauty to see. The scent, the activities, the culture…You can definitely understand why Temps Girona is one of the top events in Spain.
Looking for more adventure?
If exploring more of Catalonia is what you want, be sure to check out the coast, travel from Girona to Costa Brava! After surrounding yourself with rich medieval culture, off to the beach you go, dip your toes in crystal-clear water and let the Mediterranean sea whisk you away.
Day Tour to Girona and Figueres in a Small Group with Hotel Pick-Up